My name is Mark Goodfield. Welcome to The Blunt Bean Counter ™, a blog that shares my thoughts on income taxes, finance and the psychology of money. I am a Chartered Professional Accountant and a partner with a National Accounting Firm in Toronto. This blog is meant for everyone, but in particular for high net worth individuals and owners of private corporations. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are written solely in my personal capacity and cannot be attributed to the accounting firm with which I am affiliated. My posts are blunt, opinionated and even have a twist of humor/sarcasm. You've been warned. Please note the blog posts are time sensitive and subject to changes in legislation or law.

Monday, December 10, 2012

How Not To Move Back In With Your Parents - Book Review and Giveaway

Rob Carrick of the Globe and Mail is one of my favourite finance writers. Back in March, he had the audacity to release his latest book, How Not To Move Back In With Your Parents, during income tax season. As such, I wasn’t able to read the book until recently, but, as they say, better late than never. Rob has been kind enough to provide me with two copies to give away to readers (see the details at the end of this post).

The book is promoted on Rob's website as a book that speaks not only to late teens and 20/30-somethings, but also to their parents. Rob states “There’s a lot parents can do to help their kids develop good financial habits, and to strategically assist them as they graduate, move into the workforce and start a family”.

As a father of a 22 and 20 year old, I was intrigued by the book’s premise.
I just finished reading the book and quite enjoyed it. Rob is blunt (a trait I certainly admire) and I really appreciate his no-nonsense, give it to them straight-up approach in providing advice to both parents and their children. While his approach would seem to resonate with parents of my generation, Rob also seems to have a finger on the pulse of the younger generation, which is reflected in his humorous and informative case studies.

Personally, I think Rob may be slightly ambitious with his dual objective of speaking to parents and young adults. It is not that I don’t think he does an excellent job in reaching both audiences; I am just dubious that the younger audience will take heed until they have made many of the mistakes he tries to save them from. I know that when I try to give my son financial advice, it is like talking to a wall, a wall that has eyes that roll up and down and I know a little bit about finances. Hopefully, I am wrong and young people have/ will embrace this book, because it is definitely an excellent guide for them.

Chapter Outline

Below is a chapter summary. I have noted my favourite comment Rob makes in each chapter. I just find them insightful, practical and several caused me to chuckle.

Chapter 1: Affording College or University – “Unless your parents are okay with you being loaded down like a mule with student debt, they should be paying as much attention to RESPs as to TFSAs and RRSPs”.

Chapter 2: How to Handle Debt, Both in School and Afterward – “Shrewd handling of credit is one of the things that defines a financially successful person”.

Chapter 3: You and Your Bank – “Banks are basically stores that offer financial products for sale. They are in business to sell you stuff, not to be your adviser, your partner or your friend”.

Chapter 4: Saving, Budgeting and What to Do if You Have to Move Back Home – “A little parental support at a key moment can help position you for a lifetime of success”.

Chapter 5: Looking to the Future: RRSPs and TFSAs – “A moderate, steady approach to retirement saving is the best present you can give your future self”.

Chapter 6: Mobility: Or, Cars and You – “Stay car-free as long as possible after you graduate”.

Chapter 7: Buying a Home – “Renting can be the shrewder move than buying if you cannot properly afford the full cost of buying and owning a home”.

Chapter 8: Weddings and Kids – “Arrange the best wedding you can afford”. Also, I could not resist this nugget on engagement rings that probably alienated half the females reading the book: “Men, don’t buy that crap about spending 3 months’ salary – spend what you can afford and remember that you can always buy a nicer ring later on as an anniversary present”.

Chapter 9: Insurance and Wills – “Young adults starting a family have a lot of expenses and term life is the most economical way to provide for a family in case of disaster”.

I am going to give away one free copy of Rob’s book to both a young adult and a parent. To enter the book giveaway, in the comment section below, please provide your first name and the first initial of your last name and identify yourself as a parent or young adult. Then, either provide a comment on the blog post, or give me your best financial tip for a young adult from a parents perspective; or if you are a young adult, the best tip you would give to another young adult. For my more social savvy readers, you can tweet your comments to me, including the hashtag #BluntBC. I will announce the two winners next Wednesday on my blog and twitter account.

The blogs posted on The Blunt Bean Counter provide information of a general nature. These posts should not be considered specific advice; as each reader's personal financial situation is unique and fact specific. Please contact a professional advisor prior to implementing or acting upon any of the information contained in one of the blogs.